I love summer! No school. My birthday. Swimming pools. Cook outs. Baseball. Fire flies. The list goes on and on! When I heard the topic "Summertime," I immediately thought of the water parks at Walt Disney World- Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and River Country (RIP). Below you will find a photo and the map of all three parks along with a blurb off the Walt Disney Web site about Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. The info about River Country was taken from wikipedia.
Disney's Blizzard Beach Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features one of the world's tallest and fastest free-falling waterslides, as well as slides and rides for the whole family—like a kid-sized, snow-castle fountain play area with scaled-down versions of the more thrilling attractions.
The story behind Disney's Blizzard Beach begins with a freak snow storm that blanketed Florida. Within the blink of a snowflake-tipped eye, a ski resort sprang up with slalom courses, toboggan slides and iceberg walkways. Then, just as quickly, the weather shifted back to hot. The whole resort started to melt. What to do?
An enterprising alligator saw an opportunity! Clad in a scarf and hat, this Ice Gator slid down the snow-less ski jump, shouting 'Yahoooo!' all the way. With a big splash he landed in a pool of melted snow below the mountain. It was at this moment the slushy, slippery slopes became an exhilarating Water Park with a ski theme.
Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, one of 2 Water Parks in Walt Disney World Resort, features attractions for the whole family—from fast waterslides to a children's area with pint-sized raft rides. Catch 6-foot waves in the Surf Pool and snorkel Shark Reef—with real sharks!
According to Disney legend, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Water Park was created in the wake of the storm-of-storms. During the meteorological disturbance, surfboards were hurled into palm trees and boats were tossed through thatched roofs of beach houses… and onto mountains.
A hapless shrimp boat, Miss Tilly, journeying from Safen Sound, Florida, found itself swept up by the twisting tides of the fierce typhoon. The storm's force propelled the boat onto the peak of the volcanic mountain, Mount Mayday.
To this day Miss Tilly, the shrimp boat, still sits—impaled and precariously perched. Every half hour, the boat's whistle blows and the volcano attempts to dislodge its burden by bursting, causing an enormous geyser of water to shoot skyward.
After the storm swept out to sea, the Disney legend concludes, Mount Mayday became the source for many waterslides. Surrounding the mountain, a 56-acre topsy-turvy tropical paradise was formed—full of waterways, rivers, rapids and slides: a sun-drenched Water Park.
Positioned on the shore of Bay Lake near Discovery Island in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, River Country was part of Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and matched this area in its rustic wilderness theming, replete with rocks and manmade boulders (created by the same man who created Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom).
It was described as an "old-fashioned swimming hole". The original working title before being changed was "Pop's Willow Grove" and featured a sandy bottom and unique water filtering system using confluent water from adjacent Bay Lake, which was dammed off creating a natural-looking man-made lagoon.
Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are still in operation today. River Country was closed in 2001 and in 2005, Disney announced that it would be closed permanently. While I love TL and BB, River Country was a classic! It was built in 1976 and rumors I've heard surrounding it's closing have been 1) there was bacteria in Bay Lake that made the swimmers sick and contaminating the water, 2) people lost interest after TL and BB were built, 3) Florida state rules said water park's water had to be provided by municipal water systems, not natural bodies of water, and 4) the lake water was too hard to heat and guests complained of the water being too cold. I miss River Country. It was "good ole fashion" fun! Simple water slides and water fun. That's what I love about summer!